Art and Midrash

By Sari Horovitz

What is the Midrashic Process?

Midrash, from the Hebrew root “drash” means to seek. In the Torah context, the midrash is seeking to interpret particular areas of the text that are either opaque, vague, lacking detail or all of the above. For example, a midrash might propose a conversation that took place between Abraham and Isaac before they go up the mountain together to undergo G-d’s test. It answers a question that we might ask even before we articulate it.

Sometimes, there are different midrash about the same Torah text. They may contradict each other. They may sound outlandish or fabulous. Yet each comes with a particular point of view, a particular truth. How do we hold these midrashim? How do we reconcile the fabulous or the conflict? This is part of the midrashic process.

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